Want a Keyword Tool Free?

By JamesHope / January 29, 2015

People often come here looking for a keyword tool free. Unfortunately, they often want these tools to somehow magically transform their websites into traffic getting monsters. No tool is capable of doing that (no matter what the gurus may be trying to pitch).

Keywords Are Still Important

Don't get me wrong. I know that it is still necessary to find good keywords and to use them in an appropriate way in order for your web pages, and by extension your website, to rank well in the search engines. But just because a keyword tool finds keywords for you, doesn't mean that you can throw them into a page and expect people to start coming to your website.

Make sure the keywords you find fits within the overall idea of your website. It won't help you at all if you find a great keyword about dog training when your website is about fixing cars. If you wrote that article about dog training on your car website, you may even still get some traffic. But those that came looking for information about dogs are going to be very confused when they get to your site. They will look for the exits at that point.

Relevant Keywords Are Necessary

One of the biggest lessons I learned at Wealthy Affiliate was with the teaching about Pay Per Click (PPC). In those lessons, I learned that my keywords needed to be relevant to my page. When I started using that technique, my quality scores went way up. If you are not familiar with quality scores, it's a way for advertising networks (Google Adwords, Bingads, etc.) to rate the advertisers based on several factors. The higher the score, the better the positions of the ads will be. Or perhaps they will award you with lower bids on your keywords. I have even seen both occur together.

You may be of the belief that relevancy is only needed for PPC but that simply is not the case. If you create posts that contain many non relevant keywords, you will likely find that Google is not going to rank you very well. Part of this reason is because your bounce rates will be very high as visitors are leaving as soon as they get to your website. Keep your keywords relevant.

Keyword Tools For Free

The following are keyword tools that are completely free, or they offer a limited number of searches before you have to subscribe for a fee.

Jaaxy - Forget about the odd name, this tool can really dig down into finding keywords that matter for your relevant campaigns. Whether those campaigns are PPC or blog posts, you need to take a look at this one. This is one that offers a limited number of searches before having to pay. By the way, if you can convince others to sign up to this tool, that will increase the number of searches allowed. This is a cumulative number.

Google Keyword Planner - The planner tool took the place of the Keyword External tool. Many in the marketing community got annoyed by this move but to be honest I like the new tool better. You will need a Google Adwords account to access this. If you already have a Gmail account, you are good to go. Google used to make you set up one Adwords campaign, but that is no longer the case. Use the link at the beginning of this paragraph and just sign into your account. From there, you will be in the planner tool.

SEMRush.com - They have a paid option but the free option gives you a good set of keyword metrics. When used with other tools, this tool can round out your search for keywords.

UberSuggest.org - If you have never tried this, you need to do so now. This tool is like having the Google suggest feature on steroids. The Google suggest feature within the Google search engine is when you start typing and Google makes suggestions based on the letters you are typing. UberSuggest will give you many more than the 10 that Google gives. You can take the results of this tool and feed it into the Google Keyword Planner.

Your Brain - Don't forget to use your brain when trying to find good keywords. Even when you use other tools, remember that you still have to use your brain to figure out which ones are relevant and whether they are going to fit with the overall idea of your website.

Your Own Search - As there are new tools coming to the market quickly, you should always perform your own searches to see what tools have recently made online. If they give you a free option, you will be in a better position to see if it fits with your campaigns.

Should You Ever Pay for Keyword Tools?

Jaaxy is one of the best keyword tools on the market. They do give you a limited number of searches for free and give you the ability to increase that number by referring others. But if you do a lot of keyword research, you may want to consider upgrading to one of the premium plans. This will give you unlimited searches. For more information about Jaaxy, take a look at this article on wrote on the subject:


What is Pay Per Click?

By JamesHope / January 13, 2015

People ask all the time, what is pay per click? It is often abbreviated as PPC. It is confuses many people and those that implement it blindly end up spending hundreds to thousands of dollars. There wouldn't be anything wrong with that if they made more money than they spent. But that is often not the case. When people don't learn the proper ways to implement PPC the chances are really high they will lose lots of money quickly.

Don't let this happen to you! Learn the proper ways to implement PPC.

Pay Per Click 101

Let's start out by defining exactly what Pay Per Click is and then we'll move onto how strategies on how to optimize it. First, when you do any Google search you are likely to find advertising on the top and right hand sides of the search results. The same holds true for Bing and Yahoo (they are one in the same with respect to PPC). Take a look at the screen shot below:

Google Ad Words

As you can see, there are three (3) ads at the time, a sponsored product block, and then more ads underneath that block. These are all part of Google's advertising program called Adwords. It is these ads that would be considered Pay Per Click. Any advertiser who participates in the program would bid on keywords (in the case above it would be "baby strollers"). The more they bid the higher up in the search results their ads would go. When visitors click on the ad, the advertiser pays Google the amount bid.

The Key to Pay Per Click Success

At the risk of sounding like a wise guy, the key to pay per click success is to make sure you spend less on the advertising than you make on what you're selling! The reason why it is as simple as that is because you control how much you spend. If your keywords are too competitive to get any kind of decent positions (and out bid your competition) then choose keywords that are less competitive.

Choosing Less Competitive Keywords

You want to narrow your focus when trying to find keywords that are less competitive. You do this by selecting keywords that are considered long tail keywords. I'll explain by way of example. In keeping with the "baby strollers" example, it is likely that this term is going to be rather competitive. It's rare for to find a two word popular phrase that isn't going to be competitive.

Adding Qualifiers

The key to finding keywords that have less competition but still have the ability to generate significant enough traffic is to add words to the beginning of the base phrase and/or to the end. So for our example, we could try "cheap baby strollers" or "baby strollers on sale", etc.

Another way to go about it is to use the words "top" or "best". So we could try "top baby strollers" or "best baby strollers". To add to both the beginning and the end, you could try something like "top baby strollers for sale", etc.

Understanding Match Type

PPC advertising networks like Google and Bing/Yahoo have what is known as a match type. There are several but the three major one you will deal with the most are broad match, exact match and phrase match. It is essential to understand each of the match types as they can affect how your ad is displayed.

Broad Match

If someone were to use Google to search for baby stroller without quotes ("") or brackets ([]) this is considered broad match. Using this within your PPC campaign is probably the number one mistake and the leading cause of busting your advertising budget. It is also the biggest reason why little to no sales (or opt ins) are generated.

The reason is that your ad can be triggered for any term that contains the word "baby" and for any term that contains the word "stroller". Someone looking for Gerber baby food could trigger your ad to show. If they click on the ad, you pay for it, even though the searcher was not searching specifically for baby stroller.

You may think that people that search for baby food may have an interest in baby strollers but chances are that simply is not the case. What if they already have a stroller and don't need one? Or perhaps they are not quite ready to buy one yet. But instead are just trying to find the cheapest food online.

With the word stroller it gets even worse. One result that came up in my search result for that word is "The Stroller IV at Captain Bills" which is for a website for a boat that offers historic tours on Seneca Harbor. Clearly, this has nothing to do with baby strollers. Anyone that clicks through to your site is highly unlikely to buy from you as people that have newborns are not going on historic boat tours anytime soon. It can happen, but he likelihood is pretty low.

Phrase Match and Exact Match

These two are somewhat similar although exact match(uses brackets []) requires that the phrase typed in is what the search engine should return only. Whereas with phrase match (uses quotes "") the included term needs to be within the search but qualifiers can trigger it along with the term. So for phrase match someone who typed in buy baby stroller could conceivably trigger your ad. But that's okay because these are people that are looking for your product.

Can Broad Match Ever Be Used?

Many people that use PPC like to see how a particular keyword will perform and hence will use broad match for the early part of the campaign to fast traffic. They know that it is not targeted but they just want to get back some statistics as to how a particular keyword may perform when targeting for organic (SEO) search. If you decide to try this, make sure you set small budgets so your advertising dollars don't get out of hand. Often, it's only necessary to have a couple of days worth of data to give you an indication of the types of potential traffic that may be generated in the future. Just don't forget to pause the campaign (or delete it) after you have the needed data.

Another reason people may use broad match is they have pretty extensive advertising budgets and they want to position themselves ahead of the competition. This is likely to be the biggest players like Walmart, Target, and Amazon, etc. They can afford to bid on higher competitive keywords. Sometimes, they use these campaigns as loss leaders just to get people onto their websites in hopes that those potential customers will buy something bigger in value.

  If you don't have a rather large advertising budget, this can be a dangerous game to play!

Resources & Training

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Cheap Research For Your Content Generation

Research is the
Foundation of Knowledge

Although the above phrase has become quite overused lately, it still is a valuable tenet of learning. We use research to uncover information that is not typically available using a standard search in your favorite search engine. It requires know how, effort, and a bit of detective work to extract the useful information that serves to add value in your content generation activities.

​Research can get pretty expensive however. And that is why I set out to show you some rather inexpensive ways to go about it.

Research Idea #1 - Google Search

Research can get pretty expensive however. And that is why I set out to show you some rather inexpensive ways to go about it.

Hey, we all start with this don’t we? Or at least most of us do. A standard Google search is a good place to start but it should never be considered the complete picture in regards to research. Think of it this way. If you were presenting your findings to readers or to an audience, could they not perform the same Google search? This is why you need to go much deeper when you research any subject.

Research Idea #2 - Google Books and Google Scholar

Don’t worry. Google won’t be the only resource I mention in this article. But the two that I mention here should be put on your list of resources. This is because you can gain some great insights that others won’t. Most people are either not familiar with these resources or they simply have no interest in using them. By the way, the laziness of others is a great asset for researchers/content creators to draw upon because if you can produce the much deeper information for them, they will be glad to pay you for that information.




Research can get pretty expensive however. And that is why I set out to show you some rather inexpensive ways to go about it.

​Research Idea # 3 - Amazon Look Inside Feature

You can use Amazon to gather research and actually go pretty deep. You start out by using the Look Inside feature in the Books or Kindle section of Amazon. Whatever your keyword happens to be, enter that into the search textbox. Choose a book that is highly rated and sells well.

What you want to look for is the subjects that are being talked about within the table of contents. You won’t be able to go very deep with this particular idea because Amazon will only show you a snippet of the book. But in the majority of cases the snippet will at least include all of the table of contents.

Note: Not all books listed on Kindle support this feature but most do. It will show clearly on top of the image of the book as shown in the image to the left!

Example of Link that has this feature:
Taming the Online Research Beast: Overcome the Challenges of Finding Information Online

Research Idea #4 - Purchase a Top Selling, Highly Rated Kindle Book

Obviously, this can get fairly expensive depending on how many subjects you plan on covering and how many topics you decide to write about. But if you find a top selling, highly rated Kindle book that is quite relevant the subject you are researching, this could be a way to go. The idea is to use the book as a source of research but never copy the book.

Resource: Search for any book within your topic and purchase the book.

​Research Idea #5 - Amazon Unlimited

This is a monthly subscription service that gives you access to hundreds of thousands of Kindle books. At the time of this writing it comes with a $9.99 monthly fee. If you do a fair amount of research, this service will pay for itself many times over and is a great alternative to spending on individual books as is set out in Research Idea #4.

Learn More About Amazon Unlimited

​Research Idea #6 - Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is a service that gives you access to many different types of media, including books, audio, videos, TV shows, etc. It also gives you free shipping on many physical products as well as discounts on those products. It costs $99 a year and includes many books, videos, and audios that you could incorporate in your research efforts.

Research Idea #6

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is a service that gives you access to many different types of media, including books, audio, videos, TV shows, etc. It also gives you free shipping on many physical products as well as discounts on those products. It costs $99 a year and includes many books, videos, and audios that you could incorporate in your research efforts.

Research Idea #7
Amazon Free Books

What many people don’t realize is that Amazon allows authors to make books available for free for a limited time period. It can be from 1-5 days in a given 90 day period. Some authors choose to make it available for 5 consecutive days while others will disperse them throughout that 90 day period. On any given day, you are likely to see several books that are completely free to download.

This certainly is a great way to find books that could compliment your research. The biggest problem with this idea is that it is often difficult to find the books that are free along with those that are within your topic. I am in the process of creating a service that can generate a list of books that are being offered for free on Amazon among many of the categories that Amazon offers. If this is something that interests you, please sign up to be alerted when that service is available. I promise it will be reasonably priced.

Research Idea #8

I am quite amazed how many people overlook this wonderful resource when conducting research. It is moderated by humans so the information contained is vetted. This means that much of what you find is going to be useful to your research. This is not to say that human moderation is without flaws. But a vast majority of what you find will give you so good basis to further your research.



Research Idea #9
Similar Sites

There are various websites that group like-minded websites together and list them for you. This can be really helpful in determining what other websites are available and can be also used to conduct research using those websites. It’s important not to accept the information on those websites at face value unless you are confident of the source. Always verify your sources. That holds true for every research activity you perform.

SimilarWeb.com is one of the biggest of this category of websites. Extra credit: if you want to learn about other websites that perform this function why not enter similarweb.com into the similarweb.com search and see what comes up.




Research Idea #10
Advanced Google Operators

Full circle back to Google, eh? Yes, but Google is more powerful than its own standard search. It has some wickedly cool operators that can be used to refine your research. You can specify:

  • What types of files you’d like to see in your results (PDF, DOC, HTML, XML, etc)
  • Specify the age of the results, (past hour, past 24 hours, 1 month, 1 year, etc.)
  • Which specific website you want to search (inurl: operator)
  • Much more…

It could take another entire article to describe the advanced Google operators and it’s already been done. So use the following link to get more information concerning these functions:


You definitely want to add these to your research repertoire as they can truly get you deeper research than simply using a standard search. Still, it’s always best to further your research with other tools that you find both from this article as well as others.





Keywords Hidden in a Google Search

If you read me previous post, you would get the impression that keywords still matter. And they do. For those that didn’t read it, here is the link:


It gave some insight into why search still matters and why you should incorporate keywords into your blogs. But it didn’t really focus on how to actually do the keyword research. That is what this article is going to help you with.

I came across an interesting Infographic regarding keyword research. I think it has some good points but it doesn’t give as much insight into how it went about generating the keywords list. It just lists keywords and then it jumps right into which are good and which are not without any reason as to why. I don’t this will really help people who are trying to make sense of how to conduct keyword research.

You will see my analysis of this infographic below but as I was going through the analysis, I discovered that you can often find keywords that are hidden within a Google search that can be used and incorporated into your blog posts. So I reworked my analysis to make that more of the focus.


Keyword Research Infographic by 2theTop Web Design

I don’t know about you, but I like Infographics that are short and to the point. However, it falls short of driving the points across, especially for people who are new to the concept of keyword research.

This Infographic describes four activities in the keyword research process. They are:

  • Brainstorming
  • Research
  • Analysis
  • Tools

I don’t necessarily agree that these categories fit well together as they are not really mutually exclusive. For the most part, I don’t know how many people would research keywords without using any tools. And brainstorming is a very broad category and it could be argued that you would need research in order to perform this activity. Analysis is a separate category so that does fit pretty well here.

One of the aspects of this that I like is how it takes you through the process using the example of somebody who would be searching for flags. But I don’t think the author of this post did enough of a job describing the process and left it up to the use of only the graphic.  The graphic doesn’t in my opinion convey the necessary thought process that went into how they came about those keywords and it was very vague on why it was good or bad.

Expanding the Analysis

As part of my value add, I feel as though it would help you if I expanded the sparse analysis in such a way as to leave it very clear what you steps you need to take when conducting keyword research.

I am going to combine brainstorming and research into one category and simply call it research. There really is no process described within the Infographic as to how to go about doing the brainstorming activity. I am also eliminating tools altogether, because you will need tools for research and tools for analysis. For me, research and analysis belong in this expanded version as they are really two separate process that are meant to compliment each other.


There are tons of websites, software programs, that will claim to be the best keyword research tool on the planet. I’ve seen some really good ones and I’ve seen some pretty terrible ones. Many of them will try to convince you of their superiority in exchange for your cash. In most cases your biggest keyword tool that can help you with research is your own brain.

Always start out with the base keyword. The Infographic suggests someone who is looking for flags. So the term “flags” is what we will use as our base. Step one is to simply do a search in Google for that phrase and see what it comes up with. Don’t worry. I’ll get into much deeper research techniques further on down. But it’s always best to use the search engine that 75%+ people use to conduct their searches.

For our flags example, here is what comes up when I performed the search:

Google Print ScreenYour results may be very different than this. But what we discovered is that there are people that are spending money to advertise these keywords. That means we know there is a market for flags and there are buyers. If there weren’t you would either find no ads being displayed, or very few (1 or 2). For this keyword (flags) if you go to the second and third pages, you will see more ads that are different from the first page. Advertisers that pay for keywords expect a return on their investment. Not all of them will be successful at it, but several will.

But there is further analysis that can be don from this Google search. Take a look at some of the terms that are surrounding the word flag in both the paid search results and the organic results. As you can see, the word “quality” stands out. The word “American” or “U.S.” is a rather popular one as well. If you take a look at the infographic, these terms are included. But this could have been the method that was used to determine that. We have no way of knowing simply from that infographic.

It’s important to note that if you live outside the US or traveling in another country, your search results may not pull up anything regarding the United States.

This was all done without spending a single dime on a keyword tool!

I’m not knocking keyword tools. They do have their uses and I actually do use them. But there are ways to do this stuff without reverting to expensive, complicated technology that changes with each new Google algorithm change!

But there’s something even of more value when look at Google’s search results. The organic searches also have a fair amount of sales related websites coming up in the results. Here’s a breakdown of this:

First Organic Result: Flags of the World – CIA

The United States government is not in the business of selling flags (at least not that I am familiar with) so this is not going to be a commercial website. In fact, it is a .gov website. This is going to be informational/educational.

Second Organic Result: Flags.com

Here is a partial description that is not shown in the example above: “Flags.com is an online retailer specializing in all flag and flagpole products and accessories.” So there you have it.  A shopping site dedicated to flags beat out even Wikipedia.org which is usually on the top of the search results.

You could continue with this kind of “brainstorming” for more of the search results but I think you will clearly see there’s a fair amount of organic searches return vendors trying to sell flags or some derivation therein.

Wikipedia does appear in the next result. But then there is another vendor site.

What does this all mean?

Here is an interesting branch of this analysis.  Amazon doesn’t appear for flags until the 6th position. Those other vendors beat out Amazon for flags. This could mean several things. Either it’s a pretty good niche to get into or Amazon just doesn’t deal a whole lot in selling flags.  Obviously further analysis is required.

I would also caution you to stay away from even attempting to try to rank for the term “flag”. It’s simply too broad and next to impossible to go against the bigger players in this space. We need to refine our results to get it to where it’s still a viable search term but has much less competition.

Buyer Keywords

If someone were to do a search term on the word “flags” in Google, we have no real way of knowing what their intention for that search is. Sure, they may be in the market for some kind of flag (who knows what kind?) But there’s simply not enough information to even make an educated guess. In short, the term “flag” is not a buyer keyword.

In order to get at those buyer keywords, you need to take a step back and start to realize what you would search for if you were in the market for a flag. Perhaps you like the idea of having a “quality flag”.  That’s great. We’re getting a little closer to someone who is looking for something a bit more specific than the word flag. But we still don’t know if you are looking for an American flag, a state flag, some other country’s flag or maybe even a flag of your kids’ school.

So the next search that you may perform is “quality american flags”. Now we are starting to get somewhere. As of yet, we don’t have a full understanding of whether or not you are still in the research mode for flags or if you are ready to buy. It’s much closer but it’s still fuzzy.

Next up in the search could be: “quality american flags made in america”. Ah, now we are really very much pinpoint on a specific flag that someone is looking for.  Suppose you had a website that targeted that very keyword. Do you feel fairly comfortable that this person is ready to hit that buy button? You have only to trigger their emotions about that keyword phrase and it’s pretty much money in the bank.

Identifying Buyer Qualifiers

There are certain phrases that when added to the base make them almost surefire buyer quality keywords. The words buy, buying, or purchase are some examples.  But there are others that are much more subtle. For instance, a specific year can be someone who is looking for something vintage, e.g., “1964 Ford Mustang”. By the way, this term in and of itself, I wouldn’t consider this a buyer keyword. It’s quite possible that there will be many people search for that term purely for informational purposes. But look what happens when we add the following qualifier:

“mint 1964 ford mustang”

Are you seeing what I’m seeing? There is little doubt that someone who is doing casual research is going to use the term mint when referring to vintage items. They are looking to buy and they are specifying the condition that they are seeking!  So if you are the proud owner of one of these and are ready to part with it for some serious cash, you can simply create a webpage that targets that keyword phrase.

A Balance Between High Volume Searches and Specific Terms

When doing this kind of keyword analysis, you should realize that the further you refine your results, the less volume of searches will occur.  The word mustang should have many more searches than the phrase “ford mustang”, all things being equal.  And that phrase should have a higher number of searches (again all things being equal) than the phrase “1964 ford mustang”.  The further you refine your search the less the number of searches will occur.

BUT – the more you refine your searches the more targeted that search will be!

 This is actually the “holy grail” with keyword research. If you get nothing out of this entire article, try to realize that statement is your key to being successful with keywords.

Let me expand upon this idea by way of example. Many people that have websites learn that they can target certain keywords and then use those keywords in an advertising program like Google Adwords (those are the types of ads you see on the top and the right hand side of Google searches). But a huge mistake these advertisers make is that they want to get as many people from those ads to their website. It’s a mistake because, think about the last time you clicked on an ad from a random site that you knew nothing about? What are the chances that you bought from them? Sure, they may get a few sales here or there. But there will be too many clicks that it will cost they way more than they ever make.

I have seen campaigns that had hundreds of clicks (costing even higher amounts of hundreds of dollars) with NO SALES RESULTING FROM THE CAMPAIGNS! This is why people give up because they run out of money!  This kind of advertising (called Pay Per Click) gets real expensive really quickly.

But getting back to hyper-targeting those keywords (the “holy grail” from before). You will get way less clicks from those types of keywords. But the clicks that you do get have a much higher chance of being people that are interested in what you are selling. You will pay less in advertising cost and your chances of sales greatly increase.

The same is true for the content you write for your website. If you target very specific keyword phrases (commonly referred to as long-tail keywords), you won’t get as many hits, but the hits that you do get will be quality hits. It will be people that have an interest in what you are presenting to them.

Why Not Just Set Up a Bunch of Sales Pages with Hyper-Targeted Keywords?

This actually used to work. And when something works, you get bet your last dime that everyone and their uncles are going to jump on board. The trouble is the internet was getting flooding with this kind of tactic. It was easy to do and it was earning people some fast money. But if the internet contains only sales related pages, what happens to the value of the internet in the eyes of the average searcher? And so Google made the decision to crack down on these types of tactics.

What Google as well as other search engines, have always wanted is relevant search results. Results that will help answer the concerns or questions that the searches have about the particular search term.  That requires website owners creating content that will offer value to the searchers.  And keywords can’t be just blasted all over the page anymore. That sends spam triggers to Google leading to penalties that lower your rankings.

What this means is that even if you have a hyper targeted keyword that you are incorporating into your website, you should not just throw up a sales page and think that this is your ticket to quitting your job because the money is just going to start rolling in. You need to provide something of value to the readers that may come across your website. In the case of the “mint 1964 ford mustang” perhaps you can write about where people can find parts for the car or manuals that are hard to find. Or maybe you could offer up some of your own interesting and entertaining tidbits about the car.

From a keyword perspective, you should be aware that I used the keyword phrase with mint in it twice. I don’t want to include it yet again for fear that Google will think I am trying to “keyword stuff” this article with that phrase which I am not trying to do. In fact, I don’t want anyone searching for that term ever coming across this page. See how relevancy with respect to advertising and your content really matters?

I have given you a lot of information to consider and the only tool that I used for this entire article was a simple Google search. This should give you the idea that keyword research is more complex than everyone makes it out to be. And it certainly can be. But this kind of analysis can help you flush out more for your content creation efforts.

The Best Tools for Keyword Research Infographic

Search-RelevanceWhen I find decent information that others have created, I share that with you. So when I found “The Best Tools for Keyword Research” I felt it was only natural that this should be included on my website. But simply including something like an infographic without any kind of analysis does not add value for you. I always want add value so that you feel it is worth coming back to this website.

This is an analysis of an infographic that I found regarding keyword tools.

Keywords are Still Profitable

While it’s true that major search engines have incorporated social media as part of their ranking algorithms, search still very much matters. The first point of the infographic is that search is profitable.

Feel free to tweet each of the points mentioned.

  • 14.6% Close Rate. That’s huge. [tweet]
  • 300% More Traffic From Keywords Than Social Media. [tweet]

Search is Universal

  • 92% of People on the Internet Use Search Engines [tweet]
  • 59% Say They Do So at Least Once a Day. [tweet]
  • 175 Billion Global Searches Conducted Each Month. [tweet]

There is other great information contained in the infographic as well as some golden tips on which tools to use and how to come up with keyword generation ideas. Here is the infographic for you to take a look at:

Ensure Timely Information When Seeking Advice Online

No matter what type of information you seek online, whether it be blogs, forums, wikis, etc., make sure the information you obtain is current and timely.  This is true for many aspects of our lives but is especially true when considering SEO or keyword research.


Because relying on information from older articles will likely get you banned by the search engines.  Many of the techniques for SEO that were being touted five years ago should no longer be implemented.  These include adding your keywords throughout the content document with a keyword density of between 1 and 3 percent.  Today, adding keywords should be done sparingly and only when it is readable.  If you have ever seen articles written with a certain forced keyword density, it seems contrived.  This is what Google’s changes aimed to solve.  Google wants content that readers will love, i.e., write for your readers, and not search engines.

I touched upon this in a previous post called, “The Ultimate Keyword Checklist”.  You should consider bookmarking this checklist as in my opinion, it won’t likely change in the future.  How can I be sure of this?  Because the main point within that checklist is that you should not worry so much about keywords when creating content and focus instead on writing quality content.  If you do that, you will never have to worry about Google updates knocking your sites out of the rankings.  Google will always want relevant, quality content.  Period. End of story!

I have seen many training modules where the trainer emphasis keywords.  While I believe keywords are still relevant, you often catch me stating that I don’t feel they are as relevant as they used to be.  Social sharing is most likely going to give more juice.  In other words, if you write a blog posts and it gets shared in a viral capacity, that will be a better boost for you than most of your keywords.

Relying on Old Information

The trouble is, you could implement some antiquated techniques and they could end up working in the beginning.  You get a boost in your rankings and start getting traffic.  But that is typically short lived as once search engines catch up with those techniques, you get slammed with penalties.  So really, is it worth the potential boost followed up by that eventual rankings slam?  My feeling is it’s not.

How To Find Information That is Timely

When you initially do a search in Google, it will give you options at the top.  Those options change often.  But at the time of this writing, they were as follows:

Google Options

Click on search tools as shown here:

Google Search Options

This will bring up more options for you to choose including time options (first option).  This is shown as follows:

Google Search Tools Options

When you click on the time options (shown above as “Any time”) you will get a list of ranges that you can choose from.  Choose an option that is as current as possible but you will probably want to go out further than say 1 month.  This of course, is going to depend on the type of information you are searching on.  For SEO and keyword research you should be okay going back six months to a year unless you know for sure that there has been a recent Google algorithm change.

Do You Need To Do This For Every Topic?

For certain topics, like technology (buying a laptop, etc.) and keyword research to some extent, you want to have information that is current.  But for other topics, like evaluating antiques, or school subjects like math, science, etc., not much is going to change in even several years so for these you can skip this extra filtering.  Still, there are times when you want to see the most current information even in those topics as well.  It all depends on what you are trying to find information on.  For the antiques example, price guides really need to be current, whereas general how to information is not going to change that drastically over time – all things being equal.

No matter what kind of information you seek, it’s good to know that you have the ability to filter your results within a time frame.  This gives you a more secure feeling that any kind of techniques you may learn about is going to be as timely as possible.  Of course, just because it is current doesn’t mean it’s necessarily trustworthy.  Anybody can write virtually whatever they choose on their blogs and it does not have to be correct.  Due diligence is needed to ensure proper quality control.  This of course, is beyond the scope of this article.

Don’t Get Too Hung Up on Keywords

Although this article is not specifically about keywords, the information is quite relevant to them.  And since this is a website about keywords, it’s possible that you would be searching for keyword research techniques.  If so, you may be overemphasizing the importance placed on keyword research.  I don’t know you and can’t state that emphatically.  But if there is a hint of truth in my saying this, know that you will be better served by not getting too hung up on keywords and instead focus on writing the best content you could possibly write and your readers will love you for that.

The Ultimate Keyword Checklist

Keyword-ChecklistI have included the Ultimate Keyword Checklist to help my readers use it as a reference when writing content for their websites or elsewhere.  But remember that keywords in and of themselves is only part of the picture when it comes to ranking your websites.  There are several people that would argue that their importance has been greatly devalued due to the impact of social media.  Nonetheless, people still use keyword phrases in search engines so for now, it’s worth having some kind of reference.

Here is our updated, mid year 2014 keyword checklist:

  • Include the keyword in your title
  • Keyword is included in the first paragraph
  • Synonyms of keyword (or similar phrase) is included throughout content (as long as it reads well)
  • Focus is not on keyword density – in fact, this should not even be a consideration anymore.
  • Keywords that are included in headings should make sense, i.e., they read well, and this should be used sparingly (if at all).
  • Most Important: if you can’t fit the keyword easily and legibly within the content, disregard the keyword and write great content without it.

There have been many changes to Google’s algorithm over the years and many more for years to come.  But the one factor that will always continue to rank well time and again is great content.  If you get nothing else out of this checklist let it be that.  Simply write something that your readers would love in such a way that they can’t help but share it with their friends and social media outlets.  When Google sees that your readers are remaining on your website, you will be rewarded with better rankings, and that is irrespective of any keywords.

Similar Phrases and Synonyms

I feel it necessary to touch on the third item in the checklist as that may cause confusion for some that are not familiar with this concept.  There is a fancy term in the keyword world called Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) which is simply keywords that are related or similar to the phrase you are targeting.  It turns out that Google likes it when you are able to include this within your content and can give you a search boost from those that are searching using the similar phrase.  Google can make the connection using it’s algorithm.

But this is really an advanced concept and can be avoided in the beginning.  In fact, if you never use the concept you can still rank very well and never have to worry about it.  Still, when you become a more experienced content creator, it certainly can’t hurt to implement methods that could give you a boost.

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HubPage Review: How To Find Keywords And Niche Ideas To Write About

Keywords and Niche IdeasReview of HubPage Article:

“HowTo Find Keywords And Niche Ideas To Write About”

Summary: Concise article that tackles decent techniques for finding keywords and article concepts.

Overall Rating: 4.85 out of 5

HubPages User Name: DATALOAD

Even though this article may not be as long as others, it has some really useful information.  The techniques described can work if you implement them.

Essentially, the article covers trends, a keyword tool that is free, a question and answer website, and a classic technique of using Amazon that has been tried, tested and just plain works, and will continue to work for a long time.

This article (Hub Page) is worth the read and while it won’t take you long to read it, you will find the information contained something that you can put to use right away.

Is This Groundbreaking Information?

Many of the techniques found in this article can probably be found elsewhere.  So the answer is no, it is not groundbreaking information.  However, you probably won’t find all that is included without have to search several different sources.  So you can think of it as a round up of very useful ideas that are usable right away.  To me, that practically is the definition of quality content.

Any Criticism of the Article?

Well, most articles are not 100% perfect and this one is no exception.  If I had to pinpoint one item that could use some improvement, it would be that perhaps the author could have expanded a bit more on some of the techniques.  For instance, the keyword tool described could have included a video example similar to the question and answer section (it has a video that shows the technique).  But to be honest, if you can’t find a tutorial on the keyword tool online for the keyword tool that he mentions, that it’s probably because you don’t have an internet connection – and maybe never did!

Overall Analysis

You’re going to love that this article won’t take you long to read but at the same time gives you some great tips that you can put to use right away when searching for keywords and niche topic ideas.  These tips aren’t the only ways availble to generate ideas but they are good ones.

Now it’s time for me to get busy.  I am going to use the tips to find information for my next article.  Thanks DATALOAD!

To see the article for yourself, click on the following which will take you to the article:


Do Keywords Matter Anymore?

I see this question pop up from all the blogging gurus and you’ll see the issue split about 50/50.  On the pro side, people will say of course keywords still matter.  Since that is what people use when they are looking for something in the search engines.  Not so fast, say the nay sayers.  Social media now has a big impact on search engines and often does not have to do with keywords.  Me, I believe it’s somewhere in the middle.

Keywords Still Are Needed

Search engines are still using keywords.  How can they not?  People search for things using keywords.  Even when they hit up their social media outlets, they often use keywords to find what they are looking for there.  Sure, they may access social media in other ways but keyword searches are still a big way they get what they are looking for.

But there is something to be said for social media dynamics that are being incorporated into search engine algorithms.  The big problem is knowing what they are.  Google and other engines are not going to be overly telling as to how this is implemented.

So What Do You Do?

My take is not to worry about keywords and just focus on creating content for readers.  If you can incorporate keywords into the mix and do it in a natural way, then go for it.  But don’t let that be the driving force.  Traditional Search Engine Optimization would have you search for low competition keywords that have decent monthly search volume and then have you write content based on that keyword.  Sure that may work to some degree.  But if search engines are putting less focus on keywords, this could become a wasted effort over time.  At the very least, it will probably give you less bang for the buck, so to speak.

Find out what kind of information your readers are looking for.  You can do this by perusing social media sites but you can also find this information using forums and blogs as well as question/answer type websites like Quora.com and Yahoo Answers.  These types of sites basically hand you exactly what kind of information people are looking for.  And a great strategy is to write about answers to whatever questions they are asking and then revisit the forum (or question/answer site, etc.) and let the readers know that you have posted information regarding this very problem with an answer contained within.  Just make sure you legitimately answer the question which could require research in the process.

Don’t Focus on Search Engines

The one common denominator that has outlived any kind of Google update is great quality content.  In 10 years from now, quality content will still matter.  Whereas all these SEO techniques could well be a thing of the past.

Top 5 Outdated Keyword Strategies

If I were to somehow print out and tie up every keyword strategy ebook that exists, it could probably span the globe 10 tens over.  But probably a majority of the contained contained within those ebooks reveal strategies that will not work because they are old.  This article explores how to recognize an outdated keyword strategy.

Outdated Strategy #1 – Anything That References Google Keyword Tool

Google has recently replaced it Keyword Tool with something called Keyword Planner.  It has removed some features while added others.  Some people love it, others not so much.  But regardless, any strategy that makes mention of the old Keyword Tool is a pretty good indication that it is outdated.

Outdated Item #2 – Keyword Density

I think most reports that are less than a year old probably won’t be mentioning this anymore but there was a time when you were supposed to include your keyword phrase throughout your content and there was a sweet zone of 1 to 3 percent.  If you try that today, Google is going to slap you with a keyword stuffing penalty.  Google’s own Matt Cutts suggests that if you include a keyword and you can’t make it read well, then you probably should not include it at that point.

Outdated Item #3 – Keywords in Header Tags

I know there are plenty of reports out there, and even ones fairly current, that still believe that you should incorporate keywords into header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc)  But it goes back to how it reads to your visitors.  If it seems forced than you are risking alienating your visitors and making the search engines penalize you.

Outdated Item #4 – Hide Keywords within Body of Post

There is an almost ancient practice of including keywords multiple times within the blog post and then changing the color to the same as the background.  This made it seem invisible to readers but used to generate rankings in the search engines.  This practice today could easily get your website banned from search engines with no chance of appeal.

You probably won’t see it in too many currently written ebooks.  But techniques like these have a way of creeping up in the future (what’s old and once forgotten is new again).  So I write about it so you are aware of the technique and to completely stay away from it should it ever appear.

Outdated Item #5 – Include Direct Affiliate Links in Your PPC Campaigns

Want to know how to get permanently banned from Google Adwords and probably Bingads too?  Include a campaign that has as its link your affiliate id to some program.  Now this used to be acceptable to Google.  But around 2009 Google sent out email messages to advertisers stating that it was no longer allowed.  But here’s the twist: they didn’t simply allow you to delete the offending offers.  You had to change the page that it pointed to.  And if you couldn’t do that (and you wouldn’t be able to because it pointed to the vendor’s website) then you were out of luck.  Google banned any accounts (permanently) that didn’t rectify the situation.  Advertisers tried to explain to Google staff how it was impossible to change but Google didn’t care.  I know this for a fact because it happened to me.  Today, in 2014, my account is still banned!

What Are Valid Keyword Strategies

You definitely want to include your keyword in your title.  You also want to try to include it somewhere in the first paragraph.  That’s about it.  If you find that you can include it somewhere else and it seems natural when you read it back, then go for it.  But don’t try to fit it in just for the sake of trying to get a boost in rankings.  Chances are, the opposite will occur.  It’s not worth the risk.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

LSI is a fancy name for related or similar phrases to your keywords (can you say thesaurus?)  It is believed that Google not only likes this but encourages its use.  The thinking being that, it’s much easier to make similar phrases sound natural when applied in a document than just trying to make one phrase scattered throughout.  It also gives a further benefit that if your viewers search for those similar phrases, your page will appear in a good position within the results.  That’s the theory anyway.  Google has hinted at this but as is usual for them, they were very vague as to how much of this to include.  There are those that are staunch believers in this and others that think it doesn’t make any difference whatsoever.

Keywords are Not the Only Important Factor for Content

If you write a great piece of content, something that readers relate to and share, then who cares if you even include the keyword at all.  Keywords can help boost rankings to some degree but user engagement is a major factor that search engines keep track of.  Some believe that it is even more important than keywords themselves and there is evidence to suggest this is true.  Just look at how much emphasis Google puts into bounce and exit rates in Google Analytics.

The golden rule is to create unique, useful content.  That will always stand out as a good thing for both your visitors and the search engines.  Incorporate keywords when it seems right to do so but don’t try to force them in just because you think they will help you.

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